On August 7th, 2016, YouTuber VirtuallyVain uploaded footage of himself roleplaying an African drug lord in the game Call of Duty: Black Ops, saying lines like “Follow me, I know the way” (shown below). Within two years, the video accumulated 10.5 million views and 17,900 comments. On February 20th, 2017, YouTuber Gregzilla uploaded a review of the 2013 platformer game Sonic Lost World, which featured a parody animation of the character Knuckles (shown below, left). The video subsequently gave rise to the Knuckles Sings remix series. n December 23rd, 2017, YouTuber SoyerCake published another VRChat video of various players wearing Ugandan Knuckles avatars. On December 28th, 2017, YouTuber TanksBlast uploaded a similar VRChat video titled “Ugandan Knuckles Tribe”.
On January 1st, 2018, YouTuber Syrmor uploaded a VRChat video titled “Do You Know the Way” (shown below). Within 48 hours, the video gained over 199,000 views and 170 comments. On January 3rd, Redditor JebusMcAzn submitted TanksBlast’s “Ugandan Knuckles Tribe” video to /r/youtubehaiku, where it received more than 400 points (93% upvoted) and 25 comments within 12 hours. On January 5th, Ebaumsworld published an article about the meme titled “Ugandan Knuckles Is A Hilarious Meme That’s Taken Gaming By Storm.”
Fans of the Twitch streamer Forsen commonly reference various jokes related to Ugandan warriors while playing the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Additionally, viewers have been known to stream snipe his channel while yelling various Uganda-related memes. On September 15th, DeviantArtist tidiestflyer released a 3D model based on Gregzilla’s Knuckles depiction.
On December 22nd, YouTuber Stahlsby uploaded a video titled “You Do Not Know the Way,” in which a swarm of VRChat players wearing Ugandan Knuckles avatars troll other players by making clicking noises and saying “You do not know the way”.
On January 7th, DeviantArtist tidiestflyer updated the 3D model page with a disclaimer urging viewers to “not use this to bug the users of VRChat.”
The following day, Ebaumsworld published an article title “Ugandan Knuckles Creator Says The Meme Has Gotten Out Of Hand.” The tidiestflyer update was subsequently removed.
Racism Accusations Edit
The Ugandan Knuckles character has been accused of promoting ethnic and racial stereotypes against Africans, though defenders of the meme have claimed the character is merely based on an appreciation for Who Killed Captain Alex? and Wakaliwood cinema. On January 20th, 2018, YouTuber Drift0r published a video titled “Is Ugandan Knuckles Racist?” (shown below).
On January 24th, 2018, Kotaku published an article titled “Racist Jokes Keep Showing Up In Overwatch League Broadcasts,” which referred to Ugandan Knuckles as “a meme that became racist for reasons that are excruciating to explain.” The following day, a similar article titled “Racist Ugandan Knuckles Meme Spreads to Overwatch, Esports” was published by The Daily Dot.
On January 27th, 2018, the gaming company Razer tweeted a customer-created image featuring a swarm of Ugandan Knuckles characters accompanied by the caption “Razer is de wey” (shown below).
They Even Banned
In response, Twitter users began accusing the company of promoting racism by posting the Ugandan Knuckles meme (shown below). Meanwhile, the tech news site Gizmodo published an article titled “Does Razer Know It Posted a Racist Meme?”
That day, Razer tweeted that they had removed the post after discovering that “the meme may have negative undertones”
The line “you do not know the way” is believed to be inspired by a line in Who Killed Captain Alex?
American YouTuber Cabin Boi 24 has a theory that the Ugandan Knuckles meme as well as other 2018 memes, including Tide Pods, T Posing, and Savage Patrick are actually rip offs of the older memes. Below is the video of Cabin Boi 24 expressing his opinion.